I’m so fucking sick of the religious. You can’t even be a good flaming liberal anymore without invoking the imaginary name of some invisible omniscient boogeyman in the sky every time you take the stage. When did having a rich fantasy life become a prerequisite for public service?

This is a strange place for me to arrive. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. I’ve spent time in churches, in India, in ashrams, meditating, reading bibles, vedas, korans. I have a deep affection for religious Truth. I think Gandhi was a genius. I love Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Moses and Mohammed. But the religious – I’m over them. They can fuck themselves right to imaginary hell for all I care. (And if their hell exists (which I seriously fucking doubt), 98% of them are headed there. (I’m looking at you, Evangelical, “pro-life,” mega-church wingnuts!))

The Truth of the “great” religions is self-evident and common sense. Do not kill. Ya don’t say. Do not steal. Really? Love your neighbor as yourself. Okay. It’s nice that we have the guiding light of ancient philosophers to remind us of the virtues of compassion, generosity, empathy and non-violence, but do we really need them? Any child who kills a frog has a moment of realization: “I just hurt that frog.” The child’s remorse is a measure of his sanity.

By my understanding, you can gain full enlightenment through total selfishness. After all, if my ultimate goal is to free myself from suffering, I would have to never experience any suffering, mine or anyone else’s. The only way to avoid all suffering is to see to it that all suffering in the world is relieved. Suddenly, I have a selfish motivation to be totally selfless. Who needs religion?

It is, frankly, just better for me if it is better for you. End of story. That’s the whole lesson. If you can take that through life, you will gain heaven, nirvana, enlightenment, or whatever ice cream dream fantasy vacation afterlife you want to believe in.

And speaking of afterlife, that’s all pie-in-the-sky bullshit designed to keep you fat, dumb, deluded and coming back to church every Sunday. There ain’t no Heaven. When you die, you die. Get over yourself. God doesn’t give enough of a fuck about your damaged goods personality to make it eternal.

Similarly, I don’t believe in evil. There ain’t no evil, there’s just stupid, deluded and fucked up. People use the devil to externalize their own horrible decisions. The devil didn’t make you do it. You did it. Repent.

Now, all this being said, I’m not an atheist. I believe the universe is something. I believe in divinity. I believe that beyond science there is a larger force at work. Whether this is some self-conscious singularity or not, I cannot say.

Mystics have tapped this thing and given us glances. Their value is immense. But the pews full of mindless followers who fill their temples really need to step back and take a good look at themselves. If Jesus actually did show up today, the mindless throngs flooding Wal-mart churches would reject him outright. These people don’t understand mystics and don’t believe in mysticism. They’re the worst sort of hypocrite sheep, and they need to wake up. Coddling them with “God bless yous,” and tax-free status only deepens their delusion.

After all, if I want to believe that Luke Skywalker’s coming to save the rebel alliance and Obi Wan Kenobi is more powerful now that he’s dead, that’s fine and well. It might even make me feel better. But that doesn’t make it true, relevant or a matter for public discussion. It just makes me an idiot.


16 Responses to “gesundheit”

  1. Hallelujah, there is some common sense in the world!

  2. Sounds like there’s a book in the works; “Kick your butt upside your head Buddhism”

  3. This one was worth the gestation period. One large and deep dump for all mankind. Like all of mans good ideas, historically organized religion was instrumental in helping create a stable and cohesive society, the pinheads, the egotistical, and corrupt grab hold and pervert a positive into a steaming pile of mayonnaise like feces. It seems to me that at this point in social evolution all the truth you have laid out here is subject to such torturous interpretation, it all becomes rot. So sad.

  4. Can I say “Amen”?

    You should drink with Hitchens (or be his folksier American alter ego). Oddly enough he styles himself as a full-on atheist but I think that’s reactionary, I see lots of parallels with regard to spirituality.

    I’m still in the business of “reclaiming” Jeebus. Stripping it down to the basics, definitely no Paul, Peter and Mary. I think it’s all that later claptrap that led directly to such things as Southern Baptism and embroidered samplers.

  5. cripsyduck Says:

    frikkin krisrikken!

    Hitchens really made waves with the conservatives when he turned on them with that atheism stuff. They didn’t see that coming after his unabashed support for the Iraq debacle. Hardeehar!

  6. Well put! As an avowed agnostic who went through her search for God or Buddha or whatever at a tender age, I’ve finally come to an easy peace with religion and recognize its value. Sure, religion is the bromide of the masses. Religion keeps folks flocking like sheep to the slaughter to their places of worship, like lemmings to a cliff. But I think your point that every kid who kills the frog has a subsequent feeling of remorse isn’t necessarily so. There are many millions of people who are so anesthetized by the pain of their existence and are subsequently lacking in empathy. Some are born this way, some get this way as the result of life’s hardships. The narcissistic, the borderline, the schizophrenic, the traumatized are just some examples of those who aren’t able to reach deep down into that well of their being where their conscience lie. This is where religion comes in and provides its usefulness. Religious texts and rituals helps guide them in the common-sense laws of humanity, so that they may exist alongside everyone. I have personally known some people who have to be reminded “thou shalt not steal” or whatever. Religion also is the glue that holds many communities together worldwide. What really gets my goat though, is the proselytizing, the bullying that goes on by the frightened and insecure among us. Furthermore, what I can’t stand are the insincere and the hypocritical, those people who attend church, don’t read their Bibles or know their Vedic texts or Talmud, or go mindlessly through the rituals, and then spew their righteous, indignant cliches at those of us who think outside their comfort zone.

  7. In the church I grew up in, I got the distinct feeling that the adults were there on Sunday so that those that they gossiped with at the dinner party on Saturday night could see that they were as righteous and pious as they said they were the night before. I have a term for it; “That Good Ol’ Country Club Protestantism”, where God is your kindly old grandfather, Jesus is the club pro, and the gin and tonics come with the prime rib on Thursdays! Save me Jeebus!

  8. In case you hadn’t heard.

    I wonder if Ol’ Tim will make Southside Virginia profitable again.

  9. cripsyduck Says:

    Whoa. A new day may dawn yet. Free the Weed!

  10. Keep your eyes open for oppurtunities to become a legal farmer and let me know when the registration starts. ( sing the theme to Green Acres here)

  11. ET (EarAkeMyEye) Says:

    I am currently reading The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

    It is a dark and fascinating book about the post apocalyptic journey of a father and son across a burnt landscape. I am finding the book filled with regious metaphor. One quote as I remember it–“there is no god, and we are his disciples”

    Religion is the children’s story, one made up to help us sleep tight, it keeps the scary monsters at bay.

    Cripsy–I will be in the hook for the April 15 bastard-sons convention. Hope to see you there.

  12. ET (EarAkeMyEye) Says:

    ahum–thats religious metaphor, Ha! ‘amen.

  13. “he who has art and science
    also has religion
    he who has not art or science
    better have religion!”


  14. ET (EarAkeMyEye) Says:

    I used to go to these guys church!

  15. barndoor cowlegs Says:

    art and science = truth and beauty, i’m a fan of both

  16. While we’re on the subject, a good read/movie featuring a whole lotta religious disgruntlement is Mosquito Coast by one of my fave writers, Paul Theroux. It’s clever & sharp, scary & dark, the book more so than the movie though. The movie is ok, though Harrison Ford turns out a great performance as the mad scientisty Allie Fox.

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